New research shows the prevalence of HIV among transgender individuals.

A new study reveals the high prevalence of HIV among transgender people worldwide and the need to keep up efforts to prevent it. These findings were presented by Sarah Stutterheim and Maastricht University colleagues from the Netherlands in the journal that is open-access PLOS ONE, December 1 2021.

Transgender individuals face an increased risk of HIV infection. These factors are complex, dynamic and many. Recent years have seen improvements in HIV prevention measures. Thus, it is prudent to keep up-to-date with the knowledge about HIV among transgender people to inform future prevention efforts.

Now, Stutterheim and colleagues have conducted a meta-analysis on all peer-reviewed research on HIV prevalence among transgender individuals that were published between January 2000 to January 2019. To gain new insight, they used a statistical method called random effects modeling. The data they compiled are the largest pool of data ever analyzed for this topic.

Researchers found that 19.9 percent (with confidence interval 14.7 to 25.1 percent) of transfemales were HIV positive during the study. 2.56 percent (confidence interval 0.0.0 to 5.9 percent) of trans male individuals were HIV positive. In comparison to other people aged 15 and over trans females were six times more likely (51.4 to 84.4) to have HIV, and trans masculine individuals were 6.8 times more likely (3.6 to 13.1).

The findings of the study are in opposition to the assumption that trans men are not at risk of contracting HIV according to the authors. Meanwhile, they found, the prevalence varied across different geographical regions, with Africa and Latin America appearing to be more impacted.

Overall, these findings confirm that transgenders suffer a disproportionate burden of HIV. Researchers call for greater efforts to meet the specific HIV prevention and treatment needs of this population.

Additional research and data will be needed for continued monitoring, especially to determine how prevalence is influenced by pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)-;medications that help to prevent HIV infection. This research will be particularly important given that the latest study only included data up to 2019, and PrEP treatments have increased since then.

The authors add: “Trans feminine and trans masculine individuals are disproportionately affected by HIV and their specific prevention and care needs should be addressed.”

Journal reference:

Stutterheim, S.E., et al. (2021) The worldwide burden of HIV in transgender people: A systematic review that has been updated and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE.

Content Source:

Gemma Wilson

Gemma is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering business news – specifically startups. She has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years.

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